The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.
Proverbs 29:25 NASB
I hate fear. Fear makes you stupid and calloused. Fear moves through your mind and body, sparking either numbness or frenzy. And if you live with fear for too long, lots and lots of fear that never really goes away, then sooner or later something snaps. Fear is debilitating and highly contagious, and until we fear God alone, we are susceptible.
In the last few months, I’ve witnessed several frenzied and hysterical responses by believers to world developments. In each case, I became furious. That’s a big red flag that fear-fleas are jumping around the room and I’ve just been bitten. Fear makes me angry, that’s how it manifests in me. Some people get loud, some get tearful, some get bombastic and some get hyper. Me? I mostly get “Hulk smash!”
When I came to the Lord, I was riddled with fear. In some areas of my life, I was basically catatonic with it. I loathe fear because I am well acquainted with its life-leeching poison. It is such a deadly sin! And the Lord is bringing to light new depths of fear that I am still tied to and imprisoned by. I get the feeling lately that I’m not the only one being squeezed until I’m a raw nerve, incapable of covering up anything or pushing it to the back burner of my mind. The Holy Spirit is moving to expose my raw heart and clean out some deep-rooted darkness, and He has good reason.
Look around you when you’re out and about. Spend a few minutes reading a paper or watching the news. All over the world, fear is pulsing and churning and spreading more effectively than any virus ever could. People are made stupid by it. Lies are piggybacking on it, whispering to every ear that nothing can bear up under fear’s never-ending onslaught. By every measure that humanity’s cognition can discern, this tide has well and truly turned and there’s no swimming against it.
But our minds – the mind of the believer – are renewed. We are not subject to humanity’s reason or calculations. I rejoice that I am being stripped and broken down and cleansed and freed. I am uncomfortable and grieved and frustrated and heartbroken—and I welcome it all! I am asking the Lord to do all that He must to close every door I have open to fear. I want every obstacle that stands between me and the miraculous rest of Jesus Christ Himself torn down. When all the world spins out, I want to be anchored in our Anchor, totally immune to the whirlwind of fear. Don’t you?
The fear of the Lord leads to life,
And he who has it will abide in satisfaction;
He will not be visited with evil.
Proverbs 19:23 NKJV